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CHOOSING YOUR EQUIPMENT

Boards

Minimalist

Ideally you would have just one board and rig because of the cost and hassle of transporting loads of equipment and then deciding which of it to use.

Windsurfing is a planing sport and for someone of my weight (c78kg) and coastal sailing you need a good all round board with about 100 litres of volume. Add to this a 3 sail quiver of say 5.0, 5.8, 7.0 and you would be able to make good use of force 4 to 5 and into force 6 winds. Why 100 litres, couldn't you get away with something smaller? Well its up to you but you can uphaul a board of this size with a 7.0 rig when the wind drops and that could save you a long swim. A heavier sailor might prefer a 115-120 litre board with a quiver of say 5.5, 6.3, 7.3.

Weekend Sailor

If you sail mostly at weekends and don't live on the coast then to maximise your sailing you will need more than one board. I spent a season with 3 boards: a widestyle light wind board with an 8.1, a 284 and a wave board. I found I didn't really like big sails. They're OK so long as you don't drop them in the water, but getting a big rig clear of the water so you can waterstart is definitely no fun and uphauling is little better. The other thing I noticed was that it wasn't long before the wind increased a knot or two and my friends were planing with 7.0 sails on 100 litre or smaller boards, and shortly afterwards I would be rigging a smaller sail. Coming ashore is another problem with a big sail if there is sizeable shorebreak, onshore wind or very light wind, and finally the sailing sensation on a wide board I found a bit tame.

The first criteria for my largest board is that I can uphaul it using my biggest sail. This is essential for getting back when the wind dies. Secondly it has to be a good coastal board. By that I mean it is good in chop with enough nose clearance when coming in over the back of swell. I also wanted it to be suitable as a 'one board' when holidaying abroad.

Sails

If you have a single board then generate a quiver based on the largest (or smallest) sail recommended for your board and a percentage increment (see Quiver Plan Generator below).  Vary the number of sails in your quiver by increasing the increment (fewer sails) or decreasing it (more sails).  If you have multiple boards then start with the best fit sails for each board and build your quiver that way.

So far as percentage increment is concerned the popular range seems to fall between 10 and 20%.

Here are the quivers of some of the people I sail with:

  • 4.4, 5.0, 5.8, 6.8 (15%)
  • 4.0, 4.7, 5.5, 6.5 (17%)
  • 4.2, 5.0, 5.9, 7.0 (18%)
  • 4.5, 5.0, 6.2, 8.1 (increasing %)

The popular quivers seem to be (4.0, 4.7, 5.5, c6.5) and (4.0, 4.5, 5.0, 5.7, 6.5-7.0)

It is fairly common that the largest sail has a bigger increment than the rest of the quiver. Modern big sails have a large wind range and you can hang on to them in quite strong wind. You often see sailors changing down from 8.0 to a sail in the 5.7-6.2 region.

Quiver Plan Generator

Use the generator to help plan your own quiver.

My Current Inventory

MY EQUIPMENT LIST
Boards Year Length Width Litres Kgs Sail
Fanatic Fly 10'6 2012 10'6" 31" 177 12.0 Good with 5.3
Tabou 3s 97 2006 237 62 97 7.0 4.2-6.5
Starboard Evo 80 2005 234 58 80 6.5 4.0-6.0
Sails Year Size Incr. Luff Boom IMCS Mast Boom Extn
Gun Hammer 2008 4.2   394 156 16-18 400    
Gun Wave MC 2003 5.0 19% 427Adj 172 19-21 400/430    
Gun Groove c2002 5.3 6% 438Adj 178 20-22 430 24cm  15cm
Gun Target 2005 5.7 7.5% 452Adj 183 20-22 430    
Gun Torro 2008 6.3 10.5% 459 187 20-22 430    
Masts Length IMCS Type
Gun Loop C25 400 19 Constant Curve
Gun Loop C75 430 21 Constant Curve
Booms Length  
Chinook Slalom 2005 152-214  
Item 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13
4.0 1 0 0 2 1 1            
4.2                 3  
4.6         1 5 2 3 8   T    
4.7 10 11 10 1             h    
5.0       1 12 4 2 11 16 2 e 1
5.3 6 6 6 4             4 1
5.7           12 3 6 13 2 W Y    
6.0 15 13 12 7 6           i e    
6.3                 4 1 l a    
6.8   12 13 11 6 6 3 3 1   d r    
7.4 10 9                 e s    
8.1   6 2               r    
Other               4 10   n    
Evo 80                     e      
Tabou 3s 97               14 33 4 s 1
F2 255 10 4 6 4 9 4 3 7 14 1 s
Axxis 267   16 20 6 8 20 7 1    
Ride 277       13 9 1        
Flow 284 31 21 17 2            
AHD FD77   10                
Fly 10'6 SUP                       3 1
Other               4 7   1
Sessions 38 41 31 22 24 24 10 26 55 5 5 1

Last Update: 27 Aug 2013